Our February 2017 Masthead (also used in October 2016)
Our masthead photo for February 2017 (also used in October 2016) features a foggy day in Middlewich captured by Bill Armsden. Bill says that, as far as he remembers, the photo was taken in the winter of 2015.
It's something of a mystery photo as, at first glance, it appears to be a rural scene, perhaps taken on the outskirts of the town on the Shropshire Union heading towards Minshull Vernon? Or maybe on the T&M somewhere near Whatcroft?*
In fact we're looking at a scene which is very urban indeed. This is King's Lock in Booth Lane. Out of shot to the left is the pub which takes its name from the lock - one clue to its nearby presence is those picnic tables which, during the summer, are thronged with people enjoying a drink in the open air.
Out of shot to the right, on the other side of Booth Lane, is that justly famous Middlewich institution,Etta Mault's chipshop.
And lurking in the mist behind the bush, left of centre, are the utilitarian industrial buildings which were once part of the ERF Service Centre, built on part of the old ICI Alkali Works.
Perhaps the only real clue as to the true location of Bill's photo is the HGV tractor unit on the right trundling through the fog on its way to Sandbach or the M6 motorway.
They say that every picture tells a story. But the story is not always what you might think it is...
* This would, of course, be impossible. There are no locks on the Trent & Mersey between Middlewich and Preston Brook.